Pardon me this is my 1st and who knows maybe there will be more to come.After knowing about lack of prominence about this anime I decided to write a review to hopefully shed some light about the beautifully and intricately illustrated story that is Banana fish.Now do not let the title fool you.Many people who look at things in the superficial will never discover the depth of anime.Also do not pay to much heed to the fact that there is yaoi(gay) themes about this anime for those who are homophobic or even just a little put off by it.Such themes are handles masterfully by the illustrator throughout the anime in fleeting.
Now,lets us get down to business shall we? Banana fish was set in the backdrop of 1985 New York. Amongst the chaos as Ash Lynx rebels against his cartaker Dino Golzine the head of an influential mafia in the city.He come across Eiji Okumura a Photographer from Japan.This two world will clash when a trained killer and a pure heart intermingle.Throw in banana fish; a drug which will send them on a mind gripping adventure.
The plot in itself is exemplary as it follows very closely to the manga and is adapted with appropriate pacing and structure to grip the audiences attention well.Not for the faint of heart as anime touches heavily on the vices of the world such as drugs, prostitution , child abuse amongst others unlike many other anime which do not take such themes seriously .Many of which is still rampant in many communities around the world to day and is still relevant as it was back then.Gang warfare and violence in generally in the slums still perpetuate America today.Although there have been times the anime seem to be set abit to close to the present which could be a minor slip.
The character progression through the episodes slowly build and like any good anime could make you both love and hate the actions which make them who they are .
Our main man Ash though abused from childhood and sold into prostitution is broken in spirit.Yet he does not wallow in himself but carries not living as and empty shell not forgetting to mention that he is a highly proficient killer and a genius in every expect of the word.Did I not mention handsome as hell?A man who as the willpower to overcome and move forward physically.Both mind and body functioning at the man's optimum capacity but heart all but broken.
Eiji is everything that ash isnt a person of great heart and is willing to help all but is naive,pure and his sheltered life is painstakingly obvious at first as he gets a culture shock when experiencing America but he prove his mettle as time passes on.Showing that he isn't just a pretty face.He give Ash his yin or yang however you may perceive it to be.
Shorter is Ashes right hand man you could say helping him keep the streets under control.He slowly grows in importance as time goes by and will follow Ash to the death.
Yut lung is a mysterious person that slowly gets introduced as the anime move on and plays a pivotal role in how the story progresses.
Another thing this anime does too well maybe is to stir up the hearts of every soul against the antagonist Dino Golzine the head of the mafia wishing death and curse upon the vile man.
Art is well done by the studio, the use of different shades of colour portraying the angsty themes that haunt the anime.The colour keeps well with the 80s and gives life to characters.Must give props to the animation as well,very fluid crisp solid performance both during action seqeunces as well as still motion.Emotions are portrayed well enough that I could get stirred to say the list.Hey i dont get stirred often okay.
With regards to the sound,I'm not an expert in voice acting but i can say the voices for the main characters were very fitting to their roles.For the OST and EST I have to say Survive Said the Prophet is disgustingly good.Both song just harmonizes like honey with the themes of the anime and just accentuates the anime a tad bit more , I specially love ending to such an extent that i immediate got the full version of the song moments after it came out.
All said and done , many might be put off by its yaoi themes i assure once again you that there is nothing sexual about this. Intertwine with gangster-ism, politics, and power is intrigue,drama and romance. Howbeit a deep meaningful connection even a self realization between the pure and the broken.Its just mental that the manga for this story came out in the 80s .Now I would easily put it as a forerunner for Anime of the Year. Put the spotlight back on this story and learn that relationships go beyond sacrifice.